Ear Fuzz Referral:Miles Davis at the Isle of Wight, 1970

Miles Davis

This is way too cool not to share. For amazing video of Miles Davis and band at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, go to Ear Fuzz now and take some time to watch this incredible footage.

The lineup: Jack DeJohnette (drums), Dave Holland (bass), Airto Moriera (perc), Keith Jarrett (keys), Chick Corea (keys), Gary Bartz (sax), and of course Miles Davis.

Observe the Stage Presence of Miles. What a badass mother—er. RIP Miles.

Enter the Mowo


Into the “jazz drum & bass” realm we go. Mocean Worker is the recording alias of producer Adam Dorn. He’s the son of well known Atlantic Records producer Joel Dorn, who has produced everyone from Coltrane and Mingus to Roberta Flack and the Allman Brothers.

Adam (or Mowo, his self-dubbed nickname) has a pretty impressive Celebrity Playlist on iTunes. Of his top 10 tracks, he busts out Prince’s “Girls & Boys”, “Early in the Morning” by the Gap Band, Sly & the Family Stone, early Van Halen, and D’Angelo. I’m liking his influences.

So this Mowo track caught my ear a few weeks back on – you guessed it – Sirius, and here it is. Laid back, jazzy, funky vibe. Me like.

Mocean Worker: Salted Fatback (mp3) – from Enter the Mowo! (2004), $14.99 here on Amazon, but $9.99 on iTunes.

Mocean Worker’s Official Site | MySpace

Koop Island Blues


I heard this on Radio Paradise yesterday, and was instantly forced into stress-free relaxation mode. Koop is a group from Stockholm, Sweden, led by Magnus Zingmark and Oscar Simonsson. They’ve got some very cool jazz and swing vibes going on. As it’s put in their bio: “the swing of the 1930s, the exoticism of forgotten orchestras and entertainers performing on late 40s yacht cruises to Jamaica.”

They have Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano singing on a few tracks on their latest album, Koop Island, including this song. Her voice just puts me in a nice place.

Koop: Koop Island Blues (mp3)

Buy Koop Island (only available as an import in the US).

Watch a short YouTube clip of Koop with Yukimi Nagano.

Koop’s Web Site | MySpace

Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio

stephan crump

There’s a multitude of music sent my way, and I sure wish this was my day job so I had the time to listen to everything, and give these artists the time and attention they deserve. So I try to listen to all I can. After all, one of the great things about music is there’s always more to discover.

One of those discoveries came recently, as I heard a track by Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio. Stephan plays electric and acoustic bass, and is part of the NYC progressive jazz scene. Among his many projects, he is a member of the Vijay Iyer quartet, singer/songwriter’s Jen Chapin’s band, and also has collaborated with Gregg Bendian in Gregg’s Mahavishnu Project. For you regular readers, you heard Gregg’s name in my recent Nels Cline interview. Nels and Gregg collaborated on an album. Stephan’s web site even mentions that he has worked in some way, shape or form with Bruce Springsteen. I will be seeking more info on that little nugget.

So the Rosetta Trio is billed as an all-string progressive jazz ensemble of upright bass with acoustic and electric guitars. Their MySpace site has a few songs streaming. Here’s one of them. I love the vibe. I guess I just love hearing how different people manipulate their instruments in different ways, and these guys are laying it down in a very unique style. It’s jazz, but it’s not. There’s something inventive and fresh going on.

Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio: Tag (mp3) – from the new album, Rosetta. Pick it up on CDBaby or iTunes.

Visit Stephan Crump’s web site.
Visit his MySpace page.

Miles Davis, The Fillmore West, 1970


Seeing Airto Moreira last weekend in Telluride has me going back into Miles Davis’ early 70’s stuff. Airto was percussionist on ‘Bitches Brew’ and ‘Live/Evil’, among others, and toured with Miles. I came across this 1970 show from the Fillmore West in San Francisco – a lineup which included Airto.

They were opening for another group of musicians. Who were they? Well, let’s think about this. It’s 1970. San Francisco. Who could it possibly be? You guessed right, this April night in San Francisco, Miles Davis and his crew opened for the Grateful Dead. Can you imagine?? Well, we can try our best to recreate the night 36 years later.

Here’s Miles’ set, with this lineup:

Miles Davis – trumpet
Steve Grossman – soprano saxophone
Chick Corea – electric piano
Dave Holland – bass, electric bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums
Airto Moreira – percussion

April 12, 1970
Fillmore West Auditorium
San Francisco, CA

1. It’s About That Time – 10:38
2. Directions – 11:58
3. I Fall in Love Too Easily – 1:46
4. Sanctuary – 3:46
5. Footprints – 10:23
6. Agitation – 1:46
7. No Blues – 7:40
8. Bitches Brew – 14:20
9. Spanish Key – 11:11
10. The Theme – 0:46

To round out the evening, the Dead hit the stage. Now you don’t think I’d leave you high and dry after listening to Miles and company kick off the evening, do you? The entire Dead set, my friends, is streaming right here.

Is this cool or what? But wait, there’s more (I know, I sound like an infomercial).

Airto and Flora in Telluride


I just returned from a much needed vacation in one of the most beautiful spots on earth: Telluride, Colorado. That pic above is the view from my parents’ place. Not bad, eh? I timed my trip to coincide with the Telluride Jazz Celebration; three days of fun in the sun rain featuring Herbie Hancock, Soulive, Terence Blanchard, Ernie Watts, and Regina Carter, among many others. Of those others were the guests of honor, Brazilian jazz legends, percussionist Airto Moreira and his wife, singer Flora Purim.

airto and flora

Airto met Flora in Rio de Janeiro in 1965. A couple years later, he followed her to New York City, where he met up with bassist Walter Booker, who introduced Airto to jazz greats like Cannonball Adderly, Lee Morgan, Paul Desmond, and Joe Zawinul. It was Zawinul who recommended Airto to Miles Davis for the Bitches Brew sessions in 1970. Airto and Zawinul also went on to form Weather Report with Wayne Shorter, Miroslav Vitous, and Alphonse Mouzon.


Watching Airto over the weekend was something to behold. I was a volunteer stagehand for the festival, and helped Airto and his band (Eyedentity) set up for a late night gig at the Telluride Conference Center. The man does absolutely amazing things with an assortment of latin percussion instruments, including his voice. Just really cool stuff. One of the songs that really hit me hard was “Tombo in 7/4”, an Airto original that really lets loose with the percussion. Every band member had percussion in hand, and away they went. The version here is a little faster paced than what I heard in Telluride. It’s one of those songs in which it’s humanly impossible to sit still (which I did see some people doing – they must have been dead).

Airto Moreira: Tombo in 7/4 (mp3)

Bonus: Miles Davis (with Airto on percussion): Sivad (mp3) – from Live/Evil

The Miles Davis Quintet take Berlin

Miles Davis

Picture yourself in Berlin in the year 1967. You step from the chill of an early November night into the Berliner Philharmonie, a beautiful, modern concert hall built just a few years earlier.

Berliner Philaharmonie

You take your seat and the house lights go dim. The spotlight hits the stage. Tony Williams takes a seat at his drum kit; Ron Carter picks up his bass; Herbie Hancock sits down at his piano; Wayne Shorter appears with his tenor sax; and out shuffles Miles with his trumpet, a vision of undisputable cool.

Miles Davis Quintet

I mean, does it get any better than this? What really blows my mind with this performance is that every member just shines; all five are given the spotlight, and all five do not waste a moment. Not really surprising, given that the five are huge legends in jazz… Some of my favorite moments here are listening to the percussion of Tony Williams. That man can bang them sticks in ways you’ve never heard.

Miles Davis Quintet
Live at the Berlin Philharmonie
4 November 1967

Miles Davis: trumpet
Wayne Shorter: tenor saxophone
Herbie Hancock: piano
Ron Carter: bass
Tony Williams: drums

  1. Agitation
  2. Footprints
  3. ‘Round Midnight
  4. No Blues
  5. Masqualero

Want this show? Click here.

Bonus: Douglas over at Crossword Bebop (cool name!) has a video performance of “Footprints” up on his site ; also from Germany, 1967.

Buy The Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-68: The Complete Columbia Studio

Miles Davis Quintet box set

Sunday with Stephane Grappelli

Another weekend comes to a close, and Ickmusic focuses tonight on the jazz violin legend, the late Stephane Grappelli. Born in Paris in 1908, he started off his music career as a silent film pianist. Then he met Django Reinhardt, and everything changed. They formed the “Quintette du Hot Club de France” in 1934. Grappelli dropped out of the band during World War II, but his music career stayed strong until the end of his life in 1997.

He played with a hell of a lot of folks: Oscar Peterson, Jean Luc Ponty, Earl Hines, David Grisman, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others; and would you believe Pink Floyd? I found out tonight that Grappelli actually was in the recording studio for “Wish You Were Here”, and actually plays in the closing seconds of the song. Here’s part of an interview with Roger Waters:

N.S. Didn’t you also use Stephane Grappelli on the album somewhere?

R.W. Yeah. He was downstairs when we were doing ‘Wish You Were Here’. Dave had
made the suggestion that there ought to be a country fiddle at the end of it,
or we might try it out, and Stephane Grappelli was downstairs in number one
studio making an album with Yehudi Menuhin. There was an Australian guy
looking after Grappelli who we’d met on a tour so we thought we’d get
Grappelli to do it. So they wheeled him up after much bartering about his fee
– — him being an old pro he tried to turn us over, and he did to a certain
extent. But it was wonderful to have him come in and play a bit.

N.S. He’s not on the album now, though?

R.W. You can just hear him if you listen very, very, very hard right at the
end of ‘Wish You Were Here’, you can just hear a violin come in after all the
wind stuff starts — just! We decided not to give him credit, ‘cos we thought
it might be a bit of an insult. He got his #300, though.

So if you throw on some headphones and listen to the last several seconds of “Wish You Were Here”, you’ll hear a very very faint violin. Here’s a 30 second clip of the last part of the song. Listen right at the 20 second mark. See? I’m not crazy.

Stephane Grappelli: Caravan (mp3) | You Took Advantage of Me (wma)

Now, Stephane is credited with Caravan, but I don’t hear a violin on that track. I’ll need an expert to come in and tell me how he contributed to this tune. Nick over at Jazz and Conversation? The tune absolutely smokes. You’ll see what I mean.

Buy Stephane Grappelli’s music.

Hard Boppin with Mulgrew Miller

mulgrew miller

There’s always time to kick back, relax, and take in some good classic-style jazz. Mulgrew Miller is an amazing pianist (as you’ll hear). He is a veteran of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and has gone on to success as a leader of his own trio. Last year saw the release of “Live at Yoshi’s, Volume 2”, recorded in 2003 at the Bay Area’s premier jazz club, Yoshi’s.

This one caught my ear recently while listening to Sirius Pure Jazz. Hope you enjoy it…

Mulgrew Miller Trio
: Road Life (mp3) – from Live at Yoshi’s, Vol. 2

Beautiful Piece of Brass

I first heard this version of “In the Still of Night” on Vin Scelsa’s show on Sirius (Sunday Night Idiot’s Delight). I’ve always been a fan of the 1956 original, recorded by the Five Satins and written by leader Fred Parris. But to hear this wacked out, in-your-face brass band version put a whole new spin on the song’s greatness and beauty.

This one was recorded by Lester Bowie Brass Fantasy, and released on 1998’s ‘The Odyssey of Funk and Popular Music’. They give the brass band treatment to such songs as “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”, Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People”, and even the Spice Girls’ “Two Become One”.

From the 1970s until his death in 1999, Lester Bowie was the preeminent trumpeter of the jazz avant-garde — one of the few trumpet players of his generation to successfully and completely adopt the techniques of free jazz. Indeed, Bowie was the most successful in translating the expressive demands of the music — so well-suited to the tonally pliant saxophone — to the more difficult-to-manipulate brass instrument. Like a saxophonist such as David Murray or Eric Dolphy, Bowie invested his sound with a variety of timbral effects; his work has a more vocal quality, compared with that of most contemporary trumpeters. In a sense, he was a throwback to the pre-modern jazz of Cootie Williams or Bubber Miley, though Bowie was by no means a revivalist. Though he was certainly not afraid to appropriate the growls, whinnies, slurs, and slides of the early jazzers, it was always in the service of a thoroughly modern sensibility. And Bowie had chops; his style was quirky, to be sure, but grounded in fundamental jazz concepts of melody, harmony, and rhythm. – from All Music

Lester Bowie Brass Fantasy: In the Still of the Night (mp3) – from The Odyssey of Funk & Popular Music